I am interested in finding a way to squeeze a little more performance out of a few older machines, but there are no system requirements or suggestions by default for the themes, nor is there a way to browse strictly by resource load ('minimal' appears to only refer to aesthetics). I seem to remember litestep being offered as a replacement to explorer because of the fact that explorer is such a bloated shell, but now it seems the focus is strictly on its ability to be customized.
If these requests are too narrowly focused for this site, can anyone suggest another place to find themes for what I seek?
I don't think we could really classify themes based on their system requirements. I'm not sure the average theme would differ too much from any other average theme. I have no idea what the requirements of my theme would be. I don't have the resources to test it on a variety of different spec machines and on a variety of windows flavours. And the modules I've used also don't make mention of requirements.
If you want a "low resource" theme then I would suggest creating your own. It's the only way to be sure. If performance it really a concern for you then I would recommend not using Litestep and using something like LiteShell instead. It's not configurable but it does everything you need and is about as small as a shell can be.
If you want a lite theme best bet would be to make your own. You want to avoid modules that do a whole lot, along with watching your graphic usage. if you can get away with just a popup go for it.
If popup still has that resource leak, hotkeys would be better. Actually, hotkeys would use fewer resources anyway.
If you can managed to avoid anything that needs it, leaving out the desktop module could save you a bit of memory. (at least 3MB at 1024x768x32)
afaik popup2's only leak is a GDI resource leak if you have PopupIcons enabled. :p
And if you're looking for themes with low resource usage don't trust task manager. It seems to always report the address space, and address space != memory usage. Not sure if "address space" is the correct english term but i hope you get what i mean :)
GDI leaks can get nasty if they're really bad... a previous version of ZoneAlarm used to eat up my GDI resources until windows stopped repainting correctly. :6
There is no one number that is memory usage. The two big ones are the working set and virtual memory, working set being more important.
Working set is the amount of physical memory the process is currently using, this is data that it has recently accessed. Task Manager supposedly gives the working set under "Mem Usage" (it's possible that it's inaccurate, I haven't checked)
Virtual memory is probably a fairly well-known term, it's data that the process has allocated, but has not recently used, so Windows moved it out of physical memory. This doesn't really affect performance very much. Task Manager lists this as "VM Size" (iirc, not on by default)
Total memory usage is approximately working set + virtual memory, but that's not a terribly important number. Also, you have to realize that some of each of these is shared, such as the space taken by user32.dll. Freeing up shared space in one process will not result in that much more free memory.
That's pretty much what I was trying to say. :) Except that there are also the memory mapped files (your user32.dll example). afaik if an app loads a DLL it is mapped into that app's address space, but the DLL's code is not copied into the physical or virtual memory, instead the space the DLL takes up on the harddrive becomes part of the app's memory. You could probably compare it to the swap file, except that it's read only. Some of it might be copied over if it's frequently used. What I mean is that if multiple apps load a DLL the "memory usage" task manager reports will increase, but "real" memory consumption doesn't go up. That's how it was explained to me anyway. :p
I'm currently playing on making a light theme. Don't know if you will considere it as a light theme (less than 4Mb memory usage after 2 days running) but it's the lightest I ever made.
Is this too much for you ?
illmcuts, RabidCow, give me your lights. I've just said my theme eat 4Mb but sometime it goes up to 8Mb and after one minute, it goes under 4Mb again. But the average usage is about 4Mb...